It Was a Dark and Stormy Weekend ...


We spent this past weekend – dry and in the company of an eclectic group of writers – at the sold-out 25th annual Surrey International Writers' Conference. Writers and speakers were there from all over the world, and along with the Vancouver Writers Fest that ran at the same time and the Whistler Writers Festival that took place the week before, this triumvirate of events really raises BC's cred on the literary landscape.

As always, it's great to talk to authors about their books and their publishing options, but what struck us about this event was the clear interest in, and commitment to, the craft of writing. Seasoned writers, editors, and industry professionals gave packed workshops on a myriad of topics from "Weaving a Character Web" and "Building Romance" to power editing, subtext, pacing, plot, point of view, and more. And that was just day one!

SiWC is clearly a terrific opportunity for learning, collaborating, and information sharing, but it's also a great place to enhance your writer's toolkit. Cast in point: Angela Ackerman and Bella Puglisi's series of thesauruses sold out on the first day. We know what you're thinking, and trust us, these are no Roget's. We had a chance to peruse the books before they were gone, and if you're writing fiction, these are must-have guides to crafting unique, emotionally compelling characters and adding depth and meaning to your storytelling. Check them out at Angela and Bella's bookstore.

And one final takeaway: consensus at the conference was that if you're writing your book in Word, you need to stop now and get your hands on Scrivener. This content-generation tool will change your writerly life. But don't take our word for it: click here for a free trial.

Happy writing, authors, and don't forget to mark your calendars for next fall's festivals!